Monday, April 22, 2024

NAMs controversial vehicles: ‘It is wrong’ for them to partly finance cost of vehicles — Tourism Minister says  

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By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Amat Bah, has today expressed that it is not appropriate for elected National Assembly Members to have monthly deductions for the cost of the 2023 Toyota Prado Models, which are worth more than D2.5 million and were provided by the government, despite public outcry.

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During his oral question and answer session with lawmakers in parliament, the tourism minister expressed his opinion on the cost of the vehicles. Despite public outcry over the economic situation of the country, he believes that lawmakers should not be responsible for contributing to the cost of the vehicles.

“I believe that it is wrong for them (NAMs) to be deducted 22 thousand dalasi every month to meet up the cost of these vehicles. This is my view and I believe it is wrong.

“It should be converted into fuel, and they should not pay a dime for these vehicles. They are doing a job. They are elected members, so it is wrong, and they should not pay a dime,” said the minister in a loud voice in the parliament.

As a former parliamentary member during Jammeh’s time, Amat pointed out that they were provided with “scrappy” vehicles. He praised the parliament’s leadership and members for acquiring appropriate transportation to fulfil their duties as representatives of the people.

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When the government purchased the 2023 Toyota Prado model vehicle, it raised a public outcry because of its exorbitant cost of over 2.5 million dalasi. According to the clerk of the National Assembly, the vehicles will be financed by both the government and the National Assembly Members.

Several members of the National Assembly justified their need for such vehicles, citing that it would enhance their productivity. On the other hand, Bah believes that the funds allocated for the vehicles should be redirected to cover filing costs.

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